Published On: Wed, Feb 18th, 2015 on 2:00 pm

Man held in Pakistan over 2002 arson attack that killed eight – including five children

A man who has been on the run for over 12 years following a house fire that claimed the lives of eight people in Kirklees in 2002 has been arrested in Pakistan.

Police detained Shahid Mohammed, 32, in the early hours of 22 January last month following months of detailed enquiries.

His detention followed close work between West Yorkshire Police and local authorities as part of a 12 and half year enquiry into a house fire in Birkby, Huddersfield, which claimed the lives of five children and three adults – all members of the Chisti family.

Birkby 2002 Fire Victims

The victims were Nafeesa Aziz, 35, and her five daughters – Tayyaba Batool, three, Rabiah Batool, 10, Ateeqa Nawaz, five, Aneesa Nawaz, two, and Najeeba Nawaz who was six months old.

Nafeesa Aziz’s brother, Mohammed Ateeq-ur-Rehman, 18, also died in the fire and their mother, Zaib-un-Nisa, 54, died a week later in hospital after jumping from the upstairs window on Osbourne Road.

In July 2003, three Huddersfield men, Shaied Iqbal, Shakiel Shazad Amir, and Nazar Hussain, were convicted for their part in the crime.

Hussain has since been released on parole.

Judicial proceedings are now underway to return the 32-year-old to the UK to face charges.

He was arrested in connection with the fire by West Yorkshire Police in 2002, but failed to answer bail and has since been sought by authorities.

“A major and long running enquiry”

Detective Superintendent Lisa Griffin of West Yorkshire Police, said: “We have informed members of the Chisti family of the latest development in the case, and will continue to keep them informed throughout.

“Operation Elvington has clearly been a major and long running enquiry and I thank residents who have come forward with information over the years for their support.

“We remain utterly focussed on working with the UK Foreign Office and authorities in the nation in which the 32-year-old is currently being held to bring him back to the UK to be put before a court.”

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